Although nest boxes provide nesting opportunities for many native birds, they also can make easy targets for predators. Common predators of nests in nest boxes include raccoons, cats, snakes, and squirrels. Here are some tips to help you thwart these common nest box predators.

The most passive way to prevent predation is to avoid placing nest boxes in areas where predators are prevalent. But, because some predators are prevalent everywhere, you should always protect your nest boxes with predator guards.

Ways to prevent raccoons and cats from raiding your boxes:

  • Installing a roof that extends five inches beyond the front of the box will prevent these animals from easily reaching into the entrance hole from above.
  • Mount your box high enough and away from trees so cats cannot spring to the top of the box in a single leap.
  • Attach predator guards to your boxes to prevent these animals from climbing up from below. Three commonly used guards are shown below.
  • Keep domestic cats indoors.